Monday, November 10, 2008

Sometimes a Pit Bull Is What You Really Need

Barack Obama’s choice of Congressman Rahm Emanuel as his chief-of-staff has already provoked criticism from a few of the more notoriously partisan republicans, Congressman John Boehner of Illinois in particular.

Boehner said that Rahm Emanuel "… is an ironic choice for a president-elect who has promised to change Washington, make politics more civil and govern from the center." This, of course, is coming from a guy who is always first in line to grab a microphone and zing the Democrats.

The basis for Boehner’s jab is Emanuel’s reputation for being a fierce partisan in his own right. But after all, the Democratic Party gave Emanuel the task of helping elect more Democrats to the House, and that role clearly required someone who would have a take-no-prisoners approach. (Based on last Tuesday's results, he did a helluva job, too!)

The position of White House chief-of-staff, on the other hand, comes with a new and quite different set of job requirements and Emanuel certainly has the savvy and the skills to adapt and fulfill them.

Boehner’s view notwithstanding, Republicans and Democrats almost unanimously agree that Rahm Emanuel is exceptionally smart, knows how to get things done in Washington, and will run a very tight ship for the president-elect. Mostly that means keep everyone in the White House working as a team and focused on the objectives set by Obama … and to kick ass and take names when they don’t.

And that is exactly what Obama will need when he takes office on January 20th.

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